All about Roo at 2

I have so much to write about at the moment, but this post is all about Roo. She’s 2 years and 17 days old today. 

Our daughter is a constant delight to us. She’s hilarious, both on purpose and accidentally. This morning she put a canvas toy bag over her head and wandered about (into furniture), then pulled it up, looked at me, and said “there’s Mama, I found her!”

Her language is amazing. She speaks in full sentences and uses more words than I can count. She’s good at using please, but we’re still working on thank you. She occasionally mixes up me and you, but it’s getting better over time. 

She knows lots of songs and will sing to herself in the carseat and bed. She’s memorized most of her familiar books, but still loves being read to. 

She makes us sign songs based on topics she has invented “sing Mama has a dressing gown, sing bluey has a little zoo”. Sometimes she seems very unimpressed by our efforts!

Roo can recite 1 to 10, and count items up to 3. She knows and can identify 9 colours, and 3 letters so far (r,o,s for some reason?). She knows the basic shapes as well. 

She likes to try and work out how her toys function and will turn them over and look at the bottom. Duplo is one of her favorite things to play with. She seems to have a very mechanical mind. Her favorite things are helicopters, planes, and diggers. 

She’s great at puzzles, and can do them on her own. She is fine up to about 16 pieces. She also got a couple of matching games for her birthday and is really enjoying them.

She’s physically confident and likes jumping off things. She loves running “like the Olympics”, and any play in the water. She can walk up and down stairs unaided, but prefers to slide down on her tummy most of the time.

Roo sleeps through the night in her big girl bed now, except for the last couple of weeks as she’s been sick 😕. The transition from the cot went pretty well. It’s in pieces in the nursery now, waiting for us to sort it out for Chase.

Food is our hardest challenge. She eats some things pretty well, but not many vegetables. She’s not interested in trying new foods most of the time. Her intolerance to dairy also makes the food situation difficult. She lost 400g over the last couple of weeks with being sick. Thankfully she’s eating again now as she has no excess weight to loose. 

Roo is tall and quite muscular in build. She has a cute baby tummy, but when she sucks it in you can see her abs. She is very strong, and can lift large things. She can hold up her own weight swinging on the monkey bars.

She amazes us every day with new milestones. We are so happy to have her in our lives, and so lucky to be her parents. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings. We love you Roo.

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Not the location I was expecting 

Today is Roo’s second birthday. My big girl is two, it seems so strange. This was going to be a post all about her, but it’s a post about how I’m not home this morning to celebrate with her.

I’m lying in a bed in the delivery suite at the hospital. The baby is fine, and still inside me! It’s just where they had a spare bed and I am pregnant. 

Last night at about 8.30pm I had an episode of blurred and fractured vision. It only lasted about 10 or 15 min and we put it down to tiredness. I got ready for bed and then about 10pm I noticed my fingers on my right hand were tingling, then the right side of my face started to tingle. 

It was quite scary. It felt just like when you get aesthetic at the dentist and it starts to wear off. I called B and she was very concerned. Her mother suffered many strokes, so she was particularly worried about that. 

I also realised that I had not felt like baby kick as much as usual. Not no movement, but just a bit less than usual. That added to my concerns.

I called my mum, who agreed that we should go to the hospital, and she can over to stay with Roo. Then we headed off. Thankfully it’s about a 3 minute drive from our house.

The Emergency department transferred me pretty quickly to the delivery suite, where they also do assessments. A midwife put on a fetal heart monitor and it was reassuring to hear it strongly. However, they had lots of difficulty keeping the monitor on as the baby kept moving around. 

This was good to hear, and the midwifery student who couldn’t find him on the monitor consistently gave him his new blog name – Chase! A little bit after that I saw a obstetrician, who said Chase is fine, but your symptoms are neurological so she’s not the expert in this. 

I was given a room for the night for observation. Very strange to be in a delivery room and not be in labour. The obstetrician also did a quick ultrasound to check on Chase and he looked fine. It was about 2.30 am by this point. 

The general medical doctor came to see me about 3am and did a range of tests. She said they are not too worried about it, but wanted to keep me until the morning so they could check with the neurological team when they started work. So that’s what I’m waiting for now. 

B went home at 3.30 am so that Roo wouldn’t wake up without either of us. I got a couple of hours sleep, but I’m feeling pretty shattered now. B is dropping Roo off at childcare as usual and then coming over. 

Not the way I intended to start my daughter’s second birthday.  I miss her. I will post again about her birthday party, which was on Saturday thankfully. She’s such a delight. 

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20 weeks and the scan

Halfway is feeling pretty real today. Up to now I have felt very much in the early stages of pregnancy, despite the largeness of my belly. But the thought that viability is only 4 weeks away is quite full on. 

I do not feel ready to welcome another child just yet. We haven’t started sorting out the nursery or organised anything for this baby. 

Today we had the 20 week anatomy scan. Everything looked perfect, and measuring about a week ahead on average. It was wonderful to see the baby wiggling around. 

We decided to find out the sex, and…. it’s a boy! I’m still in shock. It’s not that I really had any thoughts either way, but it seems much more real now. 

Roo will have a little brother. I will have a son. Wow.

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Very belated birth story 

I have been thinking a lot about labour and birth recently, for obvious reasons. I thought it would be good to write down Roo’s birth story before I have another to forget about writing! Beware, this is very long.

To set the scene, it was 2014 and I had been off work for 3 and a half weeks. High blood pressure caused me to leave work early, but had settled down once I was getting more rest. I was 39 weeks and 5 days along.

My wife B was in the early stages of recovery from a traumatic brain injury she sustained when I was 29 weeks. She was working a few hours a day, but required a nap each afternoon to function. 

All of our immediate family lived in other cities. However, I was hopeful that my mother would be able to fly in in time for the birth. 

My birth plan was quite open, I just wanted a baby at the end of it. My mother had a emergency caesarean with me, and I was prepared for that to happen to me as well. I didn’t have any ideas about a dream birth, I just planned to see what happened and trust in my midwife. 

On the Thursday morning I woke up at about 5 am to mild cramps, which came and went. I started to time them, and they were about 6 minutes apart. I lay in bed for 20 minutes as they got slightly closer together. 

I got up to go to the bathroom, and had diarrhea. At this point I knew that things were happening! I called my mum at about 6am and she said she would leave for the airport asap. 

By about 7am my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart, which frightened me a bit as everything seemed to be progressing much faster than I expected. 

I called my midwife who asked if I wanted her to visit our house our meet her at the hospital. I chose the hospital as it all seemed to be happening quickly. In retrospect, this is probably the one decision I would change given how things turned out.  

B and I showered and packed the last few things in the bag before heading to the hospital (about a 2 minute drive). My contractions were reasonably painful, but bearable and I was feeling good. 

The midwife met us at the labour ward at 9am. We got a very nice room with an ensuite and birthing pool. 

A check of my cervix showed I was only 3cm dilated, but the midwife said that since we were here anyway, we could settle in. 

My contractions continued to be 2-4 minutes apart, but only about 45 seconds long… for the next 7 hours. I did a lot of walking the corridors. My midwife had a tens machine, which was very helpful in managing the pain. I will definitely be hiring one this time around. 

My mum arrived at about 10.30am. I was very glad to see her. It also meant that B could go home for a sleep, which I think she did about 12pm.

All of the times from here on are approximate as I can’t remember very clearly. Which isn’t because of the time passing, I couldn’t remember clearly what had happened the day after she was born – hormones and exhaustion I guess.

I had a play list B made for me and focusing on the music helped a lot. But while B was away (maybe 2.30pm) the music stopped working for some reason and I found that difficult. I’m not so good with technology and I couldn’t focus enough to work out what was wrong with it. 

Looking back, that was the point where my ability to manage the pain started to slip. B came back about 3pm I think. At some point after that my midwife suggested that I try the bath to catch a bit of a break. The water slowed down the contractions, but they weren’t any less painful. Without the tens machine I actually felt worse, so I decided to get out. 

After it all seemed to be much worse. I didn’t articulate what I needed very well, and I lost the ‘zone’ in which I had been managing the pain. I didn’t get the tens machine put back on. I tried the gas and air, but it didn’t seem to do anything but make me feel nauseous. 

At around 4pm the midwife checked my cervix and I was only 4cm dilatated. I was very disheartened by the lack of progress. She recommend breaking my waters to speed up the process, and I said sure but give me a epidural. 

By about 6pm I had the epi, my waters were broken and I was also on a pictocin drip. This started a calm break in the process. I didn’t feel any pain, and I was able to relax for the first time in hours. I couldn’t move off the bed, but that was fine. I got to talk to B and my mum and rest a little. 

About 9.30pm my midwife went off to sleep for an hour and the hospital midwives kept an eye on me. Probably only about 10 minutes after she left things started to go downhill.

The fetal monitor showed that Roo’s heart rate was dipping significantly with each contraction. A range of staff would rush into the room, look at the print out and then rush out again. It was a bit scary. 

They decided to place a monitor on Roo’s scalp for more accurate readings. The pictocin drip was also turned off at some point. The dips in Roo’s heart rate continued and I was also having heart issues. 

Doctors, nurses and midwives continued to come in and out. B and I were getting very worried by this point. At some point my midwife came back and I was very glad to see her. 

The obstetrician in the ward came to talk to us at about 11.15 pm. She said the head of department had reviewed the heart rate data and instructed her to perform a emergency caesarean asap. I was terrified, but also sort of fatalistic as I had kind of expected to end up at that point. 

My midwife asked to talk to her out of the room. They came back in and said that they would check my dilation and if I was ready to push they would check with the head of department about having a chance. 

It turned out that I was fully dialated and I was given 15 min to make significant progress in delivery or they would transfer me to theatre for the caesarean. I started pushing at 11.30 pm and Roo was born at 12.04 am.

I can barely remember that 34 minutes. But they included:

  • About 10 medical personnel being in the room
  • One of the stirrups on the bed was broken and my mum held my leg
  • Me trying to follow instructions but not feeling anything after I pushed the epi button at the mention of a caesarean 
  • Someone decided to try a ventouse delivery 
  • The cup popped off Roo’s head and blood sprayed everywhere, B thought they had pulled her head off
  • It worked the second time and she came out face up with her eyes open

Roo was placed on my chest for a minute before being grabbed by the pediatrician who needed to support her breathing. She was given back after about 40 minutes and I was able to hold her as we were transferred to the ward. 

I had a reasonably large cut sewn up while I was waiting for Roo. I have never had a measurement of it or anything. B went with Roo to the baby table. I was pretty much just in shock at that point I think. 

In the end we had a healthy baby and healthy mama. I have no traumatic memories of the birth. It was dramatic, but I was asked about every step. I feel like everyone wanted the best for us all. 

I will try to do a few things differently this time around, but I am happy with the outcome from Roo’s birth. 

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Pregnacy milestone

Someone on the bus gave up their seat for me! I must really look pregnant. Related note, I’m pretty much entirely in maternity clothes now. 

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Nearly 19 weeks 

The last three weeks passed very quickly and very slowly. 

I briefly contemplated being a single parent with 2 children under three during a week where rational thought battled with terror. We realised that my wife was showing some quite serious symptoms of breast cancer, and waited a week between the GP visit and the mammogram. 

Results showed a cyst (very unlikely to be cancerous) and a few other things going on. While she will need minor surgery, and further testing, it’s all looking much more positive than last week. 

I have very much appreciated my wife since the moment we met, but the thought of loosing her really intensified that feeling. Fingers crossed that the following weeks sort out the situation as easily as possible. 

These last 3 weeks have also included:

  • Roo’s childcare having a week long midyear break. I took the week off work, and gosh I’m tired. That child is all go all the time! 
  • My much loved manager announcing that she’s got another job. It’s a great promotion, but I will really miss her. I can’t leave my job until after my maternity leave, but I may follow her then.
  • Big-girl bed! We finally put up Roo’s toddler bed yesterday and she slept through the night in it last night. To be honest I don’t think that getting out of it has occurred to her yet, so we will have that fun at a later point.
  • Our best couple friends moving from around the corner to about 30 min drive away. We are happy for them (buying their first house), but it will not be as simple to see them. 

How I’m feeling 

I’m doing ok most of the time. I did manage to strain my lower back, but some physiotherapy and being careful do seem to have sorted it out. I am trying to find a pregnancy support belt to minimise recurrence. Anyone have any recommendations? 

Baby is moving all the time now. I did have 2 days where I didn’t feel that many kicks at 17 weeks. I was concerned, and called my midwife. She said it was early to feel movement regularly anyway, and the baby had probably just changed position. Sure enough, an hour after I called her the baby was kicking like mad. 

Heartburn is ramping up again unfortunately. I’m also feeling a bit short of breath at times. 

Milestones 

Nothing in particular, but looking forward to our next scan in 10 days. We will be very happy to see a healthy baby, but also the sex if baby cooperates. 

Baby is the size of a mango. 

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16 weeks + 3 days, and Roo is growing up 

Week 15 just whooshed by, and I am really just amazed that I managed weekly updates until that point!

We are starting to feel more settled in the new house. Most of our clothes are still in bags, but the main living area is mostly sorted. We found and used the duvet cover last night and it makes our room seem much more organised 😉.  

Roo very settled in now. She loves riding her balance tricycle up and down the driveway. We have got her a big kid chair so she can sit at the table with us for meals and she loves it. She’s such a grown up person now. 

Roo is 23 months in about 10 days. Her language is astonishing, she’s meeting all the language milestones for a 3 year old. Plus quite a few of the physical ones too. 

Roo can do 12 piece puzzles by herself and build tall towers out of oddly shaped blocks. Our biggest parenting challenge is to keep her brain active and her body moving. She generally only misbehaves when she’s bored. 

She’s excited about the baby coming and talks a lot about the “baby in Mama’s tummy”. She likes to cuddle my belly and also pretend to have a baby in her tummy. 

How I’m feeling 

I feel very pregnant now. My belly is large and starting to get in the way of bending over etc. The baby is starting to press on my bladder during the day and I’m visiting the bathroom often. 

I’ve been very tired for the last couple of weeks. Also a bit shaky and dizzy at times. I think I have to start taking things easy. Which is difficult with a toddler about. 

My skin is very itchy, particularly my legs and breasts. I have significantly increased in breast size, so the itching is to be expected. 

I’ve maintained the same weight up until the last few weeks, but now am up by 1.5kg – I expect most of it is in my breasts! 

Milestones 

The baby is moving a lot now. I first noticed flutters at 12 and a half weeks, but this has increased in strength and frequency. Now I feel movement most times I sit still or lie down, and I can feel individual kicks at times. Last night B was able to feel movement from the outside for the first time! 

I had another midwife appointment and got to hear the heartbeat.  That was nice and reassuring. She thinks that it is a boy, but we will find out in 4 weeks. 

Baby is the size of an avocado apparently. 

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